Got a tune stuck in your head? Fire up your favourite music player or YouTube and play the song through to the end to get rid of that “earworm”, suggests Dr Fredric Neuman, Director of the Anxiety and Phobia Centre at White Plains Hospital.
Photo by photosteve101.
It’s worth noting that Dr Neuman is upfront about this not being a scientific study, unlike the one that recommends doing a puzzle to get rid of earworms. Meanwhile there are other solutions like replacing it with another song.
Dr Neuman does not deny those, but simply adds his method, which is similar to a treatment technique is applied to compulsive behaviour.
When a compulsive behaviour cannot be resisted by the affected person, it is sometimes possible to alter it so that it is less compelling. Rather than stopping thinking an upsetting thought by an effort of will, the individual is instructed to think of it in a different way… Anyway, when I get a tune stuck in my head, I play it out to the end. That works for me.
As Dr Neuman says, the trial-and-error method is a good way of trying to treat unimportant medical matters. If you try this out, share your experience in the comments. For science.
Earworms: A Suggestion For Treatment [Psychology Today]